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The Village Street

Edgar Allan Poe 1809 (Boston) – 1849 (Baltimore)

In these rapid, restless shadows,
  Once I walked at eventide,
  When a gentle, silent maiden,
  Walked in beauty at my side.
  She alone there walked beside me
  All in beauty, like a bride.
  Pallidly the moon was shining
  On the dewy meadows nigh;
  On the silvery, silent rivers,
  On the mountains far and high,--
  On the ocean's star-lit waters,
  Where the winds a-weary die.

  Slowly, silently we wandered
  From the open cottage door,
  Underneath the elm's long branches
  To the pavement bending o'er;
  Underneath the mossy willow
  And the dying sycamore.

  With the myriad stars in beauty
  All bedight, the heavens were seen,
  Radiant hopes were bright around me,
  Like the light of stars serene;
  Like the mellow midnight splendor
  Of the Night's irradiate queen.

  Audibly the elm-leaves whispered
  Peaceful, pleasant melodies,
  Like the distant murmured music
  Of unquiet, lovely seas;
  While the winds were hushed in slumber
  In the fragrant flowers and trees.

  Wondrous and unwonted beauty
  Still adorning all did seem,
  While I told my love in fables
  'Neath the willows by the stream;
  Would the heart have kept unspoken
  Love that was its rarest dream!

  Instantly away we wandered
  In the shadowy twilight tide,
  She, the silent, scornful maiden,
  Walking calmly at my side,
  With a step serene and stately,
  All in beauty, all in pride.

  Vacantly I walked beside her.
  On the earth mine eyes were cast;
  Swift and keen there came unto me
  Bitter memories of the past--
  On me, like the rain in Autumn
  On the dead leaves, cold and fast.

  Underneath the elms we parted,
  By the lowly cottage door;
  One brief word alone was uttered--
  Never on our lips before;
  And away I walked forlornly,
  Broken-hearted evermore.

  Slowly, silently I loitered,
  Homeward, in the night, alone;
  Sudden anguish bound my spirit,
  That my youth had never known;
  Wild unrest, like that which cometh
  When the Night's first dream hath flown.

  Now, to me the elm-leaves whisper
  Mad, discordant melodies,
  And keen melodies like shadows
  Haunt the moaning willow trees,
  And the sycamores with laughter
  Mock me in the nightly breeze.

  Sad and pale the Autumn moonlight
  Through the sighing foliage streams;
  And each morning, midnight shadow,
  Shadow of my sorrow seems;
  Strive, O heart, forget thine idol!
  And, O soul, forget thy dreams!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:56 min read

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. more…

All Edgar Allan Poe poems | Edgar Allan Poe Books

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